Since Twitter’s inception back in 2006, there’s been this magic 140 character limit which correlated to the length of a SMS message in the US, one way users could interact with the service. Now that we’re sharing Tweets that include text and photos, GIFs, videos, polls, links and live streams, Twitter is making a substantial change.. 140 characters+.
Twitter will no longer count the characters used to link people to the additional media elements, also known as the attachment URL. In the future, app developers will need to accommodate the raw Tweet text, which can consume the full 140 characters, then have metadata that refers to the attachment information, which can include the images, GIFs, videos, polls, live streams, links to websites etc.
Remember URL shorters like Bit.ly and TinyURL, they gained popularity as a result of Twitter’s strict character limit and this essentially eliminates the need to shorten. There may be some instances where you’re expecting a web address to be printed, and therefore inputted by a human, so there’s still some reasons, but the primary one is now resolved.
Tweet object changes
The following items will change within Tweet payloads:
- The displayed text in a Tweet does not exceed 140 characters, but – when usernames or attachment URLs are included at the appropriate points in the Tweet – the overall Tweet JSON object will be able to exceed 140 characters. Developers must avoid hard-coding length assumptions into their applications.
- The text shall be logically divided into three regions:
- A hidden prefix region that may contain one or more space-separated @mentions which shall not be rendered as part of the display text, but must instead be rendered as metadata.
- A display text region, which remains 140 characters in length.
- A hidden suffix region that may contain one attachment URL which shall not be rendered as part of the display text, but must instead be rendered as metadata. This region is limited to containing a single URL entity that identifies an attachment resource: currently, one to four photos, a GIF, video, poll, Quote Tweet, or DM deep link.
- If the text contains a hidden prefix or suffix region, then the Tweet object shall contain values to identify the start and end indices of the region of the text to be displayed as the Tweet text.
More info at Twitter.